|Thousands of Nicaraguans Demonstrated in Managua Last Friday|
The news out of Nicaragua recently has not been good for President Daniel Ortega, whose popularity continues to decline in the face of a wrecked Nicaraguan economy, personal scandals involving Ortega's finances and possible sexual misconduct with his stepdaughter, general public anger over the political deals made to enable his victory in the 2006 elections, and, well; there is more, but that will do for now. According to the most recent poll Ortega only has the support of 18% of the population while 56% steadfastly disapprove of him as President.
There was a very successful march in Managua this past Friday in which numerous opposition groups joined together to protest Ortega's misrule of the country. According to the BBC, there were over 15,000 people in attendance. And so much of the anger voiced by the demonstrators was aimed at Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez -- I'm sensing a theme developing -- who has provided notable political and financial support for Ortega. The march also followed a smaller gathering of the previous Friday, June 22, that was largely organized by Nicaraguan youths who used the Facebook web spaces approach that proved so effective for young Colombians in February and March in their preparation of several very successful anti-FARC demonstrations.
It is interesting that the fractured Nicaraguan opposition seems to have demonstrated a surprising willingness to act in concert in organizing the protest. Well; I guess it is better late than never. The absolutely senseless divisions among Ortega's opposition in the 2006 presidential campaign allowed the former Sandinista Comandante to win by default, whenever he never could have polled above 44% of the total electorate. Hopefully, the Nicaraguans have learned their lesson but we will just have to wait and see the proof. Might the Venezuelan opposition learn from this example? Might the Venezuelan opposition learn from their own mistakes? We can wish, hope, and pray.
I heartily recommend interested readers examine several posts on this subject at Kate's A Colombo-Americana's Perspective blog. Kate has devoted a lot of time to observing -- and bemoaning -- Nicaraguan politics over the past couple of years, and she should always be kept in mind as a useful source of information on current events in the country.